Monday, May 13, 2013

Being a Difference Maker vs. Doing Stuff to Make a Difference

Last week, I got my preview copy of Difference Makers, which comes out in June. It was kinda fun to read it just to read it, without any thought of ways that I could make it better. I found myself encountering what I wrote as if for the first time. (What does that say about my memory?)

With this book, I aim to offer an alternative way of making a difference. Most of the time, when we think of difference making, we think of doing something, taking on a cause, standing up for justice, or taking radical action. While I don't have an issue with taking action or the specific actions taken, I've found that when we focus on the actions themselves we fall short of being difference makers. There is a huge difference between doing stuff that makes a difference and being a difference maker. The being will include the doing, but when we focus on the doing part the being may or may not follow.

In Difference Makers, there is an emphasis on both being and doing. This means that we cannot just talk about various things that we are going to do to change the world. We have to talk about being the kind of people who will naturally and organically change the world through ourt presence. Then we have to talk about how we become that kind of people.

We become this kind of people in a three-fold way:
  • Encountering the God Who Makes a Difference
  • Experiencing a Difference-Making Team
  • Engaging our Neighbors and those in Our Networks
When these three overlap one another, we discover a difference-making way of being. It can be illustrated by this diagram from the book. The gray area represents a way of being that moves beyond just a list of stuff we gotta do.

Engaging comprises 2/3 of the book and I lay out a four-part process for engaging our neighborhoods and our relational networks. I'll introduce that next week.

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